100 episodes

'Will my bacon sandwich kill me?', 'Is vaping better than smoking?', 'How do you become an astronaut?' - just some of the Big Questions we ask some of the brightest minds behind Oxford science. Join us in each podcast as we explore a different area of science.

Oxford Sparks Big Questions Oxford University

    • Natural Sciences

'Will my bacon sandwich kill me?', 'Is vaping better than smoking?', 'How do you become an astronaut?' - just some of the Big Questions we ask some of the brightest minds behind Oxford science. Join us in each podcast as we explore a different area of science.

    Can we stop ageing?

    Can we stop ageing?

    We’re pretty obsessed with the concept of ageing. Ancient civilizations supposedly sought an ‘elixir of life’, and today many of us get hung up on finding a way to ‘younger looking skin’… But what’s the science behind ageing? What determines the life expectancy of a species and – time for the 'big question' – can we stop ageing? We asked Alison Woollard, Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, just that - and even sneak a peek in her lab...

    • 14 min
    Why do diets fail?

    Why do diets fail?

    It's a new year (and a new decade!) and many of us will be looking to turn over a new leaf when it comes to diet and lifestyle. But - as anyone who's tried one will know - diets are VERY difficult to stick to. In this episode of the Big Questions podcast, we ask Professor Heidi de Wet from the University of Oxford's Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics "Why do diets fail?". Don't worry - she also provides some great tips for a healthier lifestyle along the way!

    • 15 min
    What's under Lapland?

    What's under Lapland?

    We know it as the home of Father Christmas, but why is Lapland of interest to geologists?

    In this festive episode of the Big Questions podcast we ask Anna Bidgood from the University of Oxford's Department of Earth Sciences "What's under Lapland?". Join us as we find out why the minerals found in the region are important, and what it's like to be a field scientist in the frozen north...

    • 13 min
    Where is my hoverboard?

    Where is my hoverboard?

    According to the much-loved 'Back to the Future' franchise, we should all be zipping around on hoverboards by now. As we come to terms with our disappointment that they STILL haven't hit the shelves, Dr Clara Barker from Oxford University's Materials Science department discusses the technology that would be required to build one, and we learn all about superconductors along the way.

    • 13 min
    How do you build a super sewer?

    How do you build a super sewer?

    What do you do when a city outgrows its 150 year old sewer system? Build a super sewer of course! Join University of Oxford engineer Dr Brian Sheil as we go underground, and learn how his innovative sensors are revolutionising the Thames Tideway Tunnel Project – and the construction industry.

    • 12 min
    Are bats superheroes or villains?

    Are bats superheroes or villains?

    The Big Questions podcast is back with a new series, and we start with a special Halloween edition! Join University of Oxford evolutionary virologist Emilia Skirmuntt as we learn all about the weird and wonderful world of bats, and ask the question 'Are bats villains or superheroes?

    • 11 min

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